Political And Other Miscellany From A Stout Democrat In Dallas Texas.
"Politics is the only game for adults." --from Robert A. Heinlein's Double Star

Sunday, August 14, 2005

THE SECRET LEFTIST BASTION?: Kimberly at A Little Pollyanna spotted this seemingly counterintuitive news in the Austin American-Statesman:
...Dallas ... is, by a long shot, Texas' liberal bastion, according to the Bay Area Center for Voting Research. The nonprofit think tank based in Berkeley, Calif. ... ranked 237 U.S. cities on the liberal-to-conservative spectrum, based on results from the 2004 presidential election. The group named Austin the 93rd most liberal city in the land, just slightly bluer on the electoral map than Virginia Beach and Salt Lake City.

Dallas was 32nd, two slots more liberal than Madison, Wis. ...

The rankings threaten to obliterate a tradition of snide remarks about the capital city from less-liberal burgs such as Plano (fifth most conservative U.S. city, the study says), Abilene (third most conservative) and Lubbock (No. 2, trailing/leading only Provo, Utah).
This surprised people many people, even though I've been telling them for years that Democrats tend to carry the city of Dallas -- it's only all those suburbs that make the county look Republican. (Just barely so anymore; how many other places elected a Lesbian Hispanic Sheriff last year?) The San Francisco Chronicle has more:
Three Bay Area cities were among the 10 most liberal in the nation, the study found, with Berkeley placing third, Oakland fifth, and San Francisco ninth.

Overall, the study found that the nation's most liberal cities tend to have large black populations and large numbers of single adults.

Detroit topped the list of most liberal cities, followed by Gary, Indiana. Washington, Inglewood, Calif., Newark, N.J., Cambridge, Mass., and Flint, Mich., rounded out the top 10.

"While there are a few liberal cities without large African-American populations, these wind up being the exceptions," wrote researcher Phil Reiff.
Dallas' own Byron gives more facts in the comments on this at Off the Kuff:
A Democratic precinct chair in Dallas County, Tom Blackwell actually calculated the results in the City of Dallas. This includes the portions of the city of Dallas in Collin and Denton Counties as well. Kerry won Dallas by 54,000 votes, Gore won by 31,000. ...

City of Dallas Results:

John F. Kerry 200,854
George W. Bush 146,952

Gore/Lieberman - 167,777
Bush/Cheney - 136,350
One other commenter there says "According to their data, Kerry took 75% of the City of Dallas vote." Byron says that Tom's figures "would suggest that it should be about 57% Liberal (since that was roughly Kerry's percentage in the city)". One possible explanation might be if the Center didn't realize that Dallas also contained those (basically WASP Republican) precincts in the two other counties, and only figured on the basis of the Dallas County part of the city.

The whole thing is still an example of "garbage in, garbage out" if you are trying to find out which cities are most liberal. To paraphrase our former U.S. Senator, "I know liberals. Liberals are friends of mine. Senator Kerry was no liberal." That supporter of the Patriot Act, advocate of more troops for the Preemptive War On Iraq (even calling for a "voluntary" draft if you wanted to graduate from high school), and unquestioning backer of the War On Drug Users, was an all too typical moderate establishment corporatist Democrat. Sure, lots of us voted for him as far better than Bush (and still would, given the same choice), but the vote totals in that race are no way to determine a city's ideology.


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